Too much of a good thing?
Can you overfeed supplements?
Which supplements are safe to feed together?
Most horse and pony owners will be aware of the importance of feeding a balanced diet – providing the correct amounts of nutrients to meet the horse’s requirements, both to help him stay healthy (maintenance requirements), and to either work, reproduce or grow (additional requirements over and above maintenance).
Forage should, of course, form the basis of every equine diet, with added energy, protein and minerals and vitamins (micronutrients) provided where forage doesn’t meet these requirements – in hard working horses, fast growing young stock and broodmares for example.
However, there are many situations where the provision of additional targeted supplements, providing higher levels of certain micronutrients or key ingredients, may enhance performance, support recovery after work, or provide nutritional support for a return to health following illness or injury. Supplements could include those to support joint health and mobility, electrolytes to promote rehydration, herbal blends to support the respiratory system, or targeted ingredients to support the nervous system, promoting calmness, focus and concentration (“calmers”). But what if your horse needs a joint and respiratory supplement? Are they safe to feed together?
How do you know if you are providing a safe level of extra nutrients or key targeted ingredients, or is there a risk of over-doing it? Should some supplements not be fed together?
The most important consideration to think about when choosing either a single supplement, or multiple supplements to address more than one targeted area of health and performance is:
Are you exceeding the safe maximum intake of any nutrient or ingredients? Some minerals and vitamins can exceed safe intake levels if provided in daily feed and additional supplements, so care needs to be taken when adding supplements to endure that intakes don’t become excessive. Selenium, iodine and vitamin D can all exceed safe levels quite readily with over-supplementation.
Similarly, excessively high intakes of some herbs can be counterproductive, and indeed in some cases can have the opposite effect to that desired! So checking total daily intakes from all dietary sources is important, and if you are not sure about combining supplements to target more than one area of health or performance, use any of our messaging platforms or telephone to ask our friendly and knowledgeable team!
We are delighted to say that Equine America supplements are formulated to be safely fed with most typical daily feeds, whilst providing enhanced levels of targeted nutrients and ingredients, to support particular nutritional needs.
In addition, we have taken great care to ensure that supplements which are likely to be fed together, such as Pro Pell (for extra B vitamins and energy), Cortaflex Super Fenn (for joint support) and Apple Lytes (for electrolytes replacement) for performance horses, are completely safe to be fed together.
Similarly, as the pollen levels have been so high this year, we have had many questions about feeding Pollen-Eze and Airways solution together. Again, this is a great (and safe!) combination to feed together, to support respiratory health in a challenging environment.
Where caution is needed, it will be clearly stated on the label – such as not feeding certain ingredients to pregnant mares.
So whilst it is very important to avoid excessive intakes of both micronutrients and certain ingredients, there are many occasions when more than one supplement may be required, and we are always happy to advise on safe and suitable combinations to enhance health or performance for your individual horse or pony – just message us on any of our social media platforms, or telephone during office hours, and someone from the team will be delighted to help!
Commonly asked about combinations:
Remember, if you are unsure about the advisability of feeding a particular combination of supplements , expert help from the Equine America team is only a message or phone call away…..